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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the risks of snoring? Can snoring be something more dangerous?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr Maree Barnes

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Barnes has competed specialty training in sleep medicine and is currently working at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. Dr Barnes’ current research focuses are: … View Profile

    Snoring is often thought of as just a nuisance problem, however it may indicate a more serious underlying sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnoea.
    There is increasing evidence that snoring alone may also cause problems. If you are concerned,  you should see your GP and ask for a referral to a sleep physician.

  • 1


    Dr Peter Solin

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Peter Solin is a highly trained authority in sleep disorders medicine and respiratory medicine, having graduated from Melbourne University in 1987 and undertaken specialist … View Profile

    The main risk of snoring is that it is associated with laboured breathing, and therefore a degree of sleep apnoea.
    Snoring is usually a marker that there is some sleep apnoea, but that's not always the case. If you snore then you are likely to also have some disruption to your breathing, and this is termed sleep apnoea.
    Snoring with some laboured breathing, in other words…snoring with some sleep apnoea, is unhealthy and increases the chance of ill health through elevated blood pressure, stress on the heart and blood vessels, increased appetite, reduced alertness and judgement, and reduced performance.
    Certainly snoring with major sleep apnoea is a cause of heart disease and stroke, and will shorten your life if left untreated.
    However just snoring, i.e. just vibration with little or no sleep disturbance, is currently getting a lot of attention, and it appears that it probably does cause some ill health consequences, but not great. This is a very hard group to study, so the science is a bit contradictory at the present time.
    I suspect that there will be a relationship between snoring (on its own), and ill health, so I'd never consider major snoring as something that should be left alone!

  • Anonymous

    everyone I know seem to snore these days why would this be on the increase and how can you tell if it is not good for your health that is sleep apnea and how can one prevent themselves from snoring, can retraining their breathing help like doing buteyko breathing exercises.  thank you

  • A/Prof Nicholas Stow

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Clinical Associate Professor Nicholas Stow completed his specialist training in NSW, then undertook 2 years of subspecialty training in Sinus and Nasal Surgery in Switzerland … View Profile

    Snoring is caused by a partial blockage of your airway while you sleep. As air moves in and out of your lungs while you breathe, it has to move around the blocked area and this produces airflow turbulence and noise.

    Snoring is the hallmark symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition which may have serious implications for your daytime functioning, mood and general health. However, most snorers will not have sleep apnoea. You are best to discuss any concerns about your snoring with your GP, who will screen you for possible sleep apnoea. 

  • The Sleep Health Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of ‘valuing sleep’ as part of a healthy lifestyle alongside regular exercise, a … View Profile

    You can find more information on snoring on the Sleep Health Foundation website here.

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